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Little Italy Days Kicks Off With Food, Music And Culture

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- This is the 15th year for Little Italy Days in Bloomfield. Over 200 vendors will line Liberty Avenue, with thousands of spectators taking it all in.

Organizers say this is the largest ethnic event in Western Pennsylvania. From food to music and various other performers, event officials say you won't be disappointed.

"Crazy, absolutely insane the amount of people that come here for the event," said Michael Vitanovich.

It's welcome news for the businesses that line this half mile stretch.

"I hear this story all the time. They do off the wall, breaking numbers in this four days than they do anytime during the years," said Sal Richetti.

Alex Colaizzi's damily owned Alexander's for 39 years.

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"It's a very loyal neighborhood. All wonderful people," he said.

And that loyalty is pretty strong.

"We get people from around the country that will come in for this festival. People that grew up in Bloomfield that will call me, email me and say 'tell me those dates again because we're planning our vacation and our reunion around the festival,'" said organizer Sal Richetti.

The preparation is nine months in the making.

This year the Italians get things started with a healthy game of bocce, featuring Mayor Bill Peduto trying to regain the title after losing to County Executive Rich Fitzgerald's Irishmen last year.

Franco Harris and KDKA's Paul Martino and Jon Burnett will also take part, celebrating Pittsburgh's Little Italy.

Everything starts tonight officially at 6 o'clock Thursday and wraps up on Sunday at 6 p.m.

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